Since Dragon Moon was published, I’ve had quite a lot of emails and blog comments asking me to write a fourth Dragonkeeper book. I always say the same thing. It’s not going to happen. I don’t want to write a fourth book. After all her adventures, I think Ping should have a nice quiet life. She deserves it.
Some people get quite cross with me. They seem to think I’m just being difficult. Or they think I’ve run out of ideas. It’s neither of those things. It’s wonderful that people liked the books so much that they want more. But if my heart isn’t in it, it wouldn’t be any good anyway.
Writing a novel takes a lot of time, about a year for one of my books. It can be stressful, getting it all to work. You have to slog away at it every day, whether you feel like it or not, whether it’s working or not. So it has to be something that I want to write. I know that sounds selfish, but for me it’s the only way to do it.
I’m not the only one that feels that way. I heard Graeme Base talking on the radio the other week and he said the same thing. “I never do market research,” he said. “I just do the stuff that I feel suddenly inspired by and that I will get joy from doing and which I honestly believe is worth two years of my time.”
You never know if a book is going to be successful. I only write the stories that I really want to write, that I have to write, that I would still think were worth all the effort, even if they didn’t do well.
So I haven’t run out of ideas. I’ve just got different ideas. What I’ve run out of is enthusiasm for continuing that story with those characters. And even if someone did write to me and give me a fabulous idea for a fourth book, I couldn’t use it, because it wouldn’t be my story. (And if it was a big hit, bigger than Harry Potter and I got a seven picture deal and became a millionaire, then the person who gave me the idea would sue me!) I have to stick with my own ideas.
The interview with Graeme Base, was on Life Matters on ABC Radio National on 5 Nov and you can listen to a podcast of the full interview.